Recover a HDD formatted to MacOS Extended from NTFS

Andy C

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 20, 2004
Farnborough, UK
Hi guys,

I had two USB drives plugged in to the Mac yesterday, one was a 2 TB external HDD and the other a memory stick.

I wanted to create a boot drive for Lion on the USB stick so I opened up the Disk Utility, selected the drive, chose 1 Partition and set it to GUID Partition Table and clicked Apply. Oh crap, I've selected the HDD enclosure and not the USB stick... too late... so all the DVDs and CDs I've spent ages encoding, plus some other documents have all been wiped.

Is there any way to recover the data as nothing has been written to the drive? I'm guessing as the HDD was formatted using NTFS or FAT32 on a WinXP box I would need to use a utility on that rather than a Mac recovery program?

Many thanks for any assistance...




macrumors 65816
Mar 6, 2007
If you let Disc Utility format the drive as GUID, everything that was on the drive is gone forever. However, if you cancelled the action after you discovered your error, but before the formatting was completed, perhaps all is not lost. Nevertheless, you will need Windows utilities to try to recover your files.


macrumors 68000
May 11, 2009
Data Rescue 3 can help. I had this same problem and if you let it do a deep scan it can find files even if you have reformatted. It's expensive but it will probably help you get most of your stuff back. As far as I can remember, I had my drive formatted as a windows disc at first and then reformatted back to the mac format, just like you have done. I think Data Rescue can still get the data off, but maybe you can send them an email and ask before you buy it to make sure

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